Britain's 'Heaths' Condor' skippered by Englishman Robin knox-Johnson, was first to complete the second leg of the Round-the-World Whitbread yacht race.
AV: Heath's Condor at sea off Northland coast.
AG: Heath's Condor at sea with stopped frame showing crew on board.
AV: Heath's Condor under way.
RICHARD LONG: By mid-after-noon, Heath's Condor was just clear of North Cape in full sail conditions, carrying her huge 5,000 square foot spinnaker. Today's superb weather was in stark contrast to the ferocious conditions she'd endured on the 7,600 mile voyage from Cape Town, and the crew were pleased to see land again.'
ROBIN KNOX-JOHNSON:"Well, it's quite attractive really. We picked it up roughly where we expected New Zealand to be. And we needed a bit of excitement after that length of time. You get what we call "travel fever" as you get closer to your destination. We were quite excited about it, over."
REPORTER'S VOICE: "What have sailing conditions been like of the voyage? Over."
KNOX-JOHNSON:"At the start we had a couple of very calm days and then we got down into the Roaring Forties and (INDISTINCT) into the Fifties, we decided to turn along 55 south, where we got quite a few of the fronts and some quite good rough weather. That's where we did our best day's run of 298 miles. Then, we started to head north when we reached 120 degrees East longitude, and came out towards the Tasman (Sea). And the Tasman was a bit quiet. We did not get the wind we wanted, and, in fact, I think the tailenders have been closing up a bit. Over."
The British ketch Great British II, owned by Chay Blyth and skippered by Rob James, made landfall off New Zealand on Saturday (26 November) one day after Health's Condor. On Sunday (27 November), the British cutter King's Legend and Dutch ketch Flyer arrived in Auckland. The European Common Market entry Tarite de Rome, which was the current race leader on handicap, was not expected to arrive for several days after this. The 15 competitors will sail from Auckland to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on the third leg and are expected to finish the race at Portsmouth in England next April.
REPORTER: RICHARD LONG
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Britain's 'Heaths' Condor' skippered by Englishman Robin knox-Johnson, was first to complete the second leg of the Round-the-World Whitbread yacht race. The 77-foot ketch reached New Zealand on Friday (25 November), having completed a 7,900 miles voyage from Cape Town to Auckland in 31 days.